As the initial, critical period following the August 5, 2015 Gold King Mine Disaster appears to be passing, affected land and business owners are now beginning to assess the economic impact of the Animas River spill. The EPA has reportedly accepted full responsibility for the spill and is inviting claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act, but the claims process has some residents concerned and asking questions.
Durango, Colorado attorney Steve Wells, working in conjunction with the American Injury Attorney Group, is offering assistance to residents with questions or concerns about the Federal Tort Claims process. Mr. Wells has been assisting the residents of Durango and surrounding areas for over 30 years.
For additional information, call the number listed at the top of this page, fill out the online form on this page, or send an email to [email protected]. An attorney will follow up with you to help answer your questions, and property owners or others wishing to pursue claims will be put in touch attorney Wells at his Durango office. All consultations are free, without obligation, and confidential.
Officials Pledge Assistance, But Concerns Remain
An August 16 article in the Durango Herald plainly notes that:
The economic losses from the Gold King Mine spill into the Animas River are just beginning to be calculated, and they are likely to go much higher before all the ramifications are fully realized.
The article focuses on efforts of local banks and businesses in the Durango area to provide interim funding for those who have sustained immediate economic losses as a result of the Animas River spill, but it also notes that the long-term impacts of the spill are unknown and that, despite assurances from the EPA and other government agencies, the claims process raises concerns.
A primary concern with the EPA Federal Tort Claims process, as noted in an August 17 Indian Country news report on the impact of the Gold King Mine spill on the Navajo communities along the San Juan River, is that the federal Form 95 being distributed by the EPA for the submission of claims, while covering claims for property damage, death or injury, also states that:
- Any payments made are final, made in full and final settlement of a claim, and
- Failure to complete the form and provide proof of loss within two years of the incident may render the claim invalid
Because the impact of the spill may not be known for many years, and because any payments made in response to the claim form are considered final according to the terms of the forms, citizens are concerned that the form is too limiting to take into account all of the potential damages resulting from the spill.
The Durango Herald article attempts to address these concerns by quoting an EPA news release stating that submission of a Form 95 does not limit or waive future rights, but it also notes that the “EPA is not offering immediate reimbursements for damages from the Gold King Mine water.” Hence, the need for assistance from local banks and businesses.
An Animas River Spill Attorney Has the Client’s Interests in Mind
An Animas River Spill claims attorney can assist affected residents with the claims process, and give them peace of mind that their interests are being protected, by:
- Assisting claimants compile the proper information for any needed claims forms
- Submitting needed information in a timely manner
- Working with federal agencies throughout the claims process
- Determining whether other parties besides the federal government might be responsible for damages and liable to pay claims
In most instances, attorneys will not charge a fee unless a recovery is made on behalf of a client, and in many cases a client can recover more with the assistance of an attorney than he or she could without representation—even when the attorney’s fee is taken into account.
Considering that there is no fee unless a recovery is made and that initial consultations are free, as well, any resident, land or property owner, or any other person who thinks that they may have a claim, are encouraged to seek the advice of an Animas River Spill claims attorneys to learn more about their rights and the claims process.
Connect with an Animas River Spill Attorney. Contact Us Today.
Durango, Colorado attorney Steve Wells, working in conjunction with the American Injury Attorney Group, is offering assistance to people affected by the Gold King Mine disaster. For additional information, call the number listed on this page, fill out a contact form on this page, or email us at [email protected].
An attorney will follow up with you to help answer your questions, and property owners or others wishing to pursue claims will be put in touch attorney Wells at his Durango office. All consultations are free, without obligation, and confidential.